2 Samuel Chapter 21 to 22 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

Other Versions

Saul’s Family Punished

21 There was a famine while David was king. This time of hunger continued for three years. David prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered. The Lord said, “Saul and his family of murderers* are the reason for this time of hunger. This famine came because Saul killed the Gibeonites.” (2The Gibeonites were not Israelites. They were a group of Amorites. The Israelites had promised them {that they would not hurt the Gibeonites}.* But Saul tried to kill the Gibeonites. He did this because of his strong feelings for the people of Israel and Judah.) King David called the Gibeonites together and talked to them. 3David said to the Gibeonites, “What can I do for you? What can I do to take away Israel’s sin, so you can bless the Lord’s people?” 4The Gibeonites said to David, “There isn’t enough gold and silver for Saul’s family to pay for what they did. But we don’t have the right to kill any person in Israel.” David said, “Well, what can I do for you?” 5The Gibeonites said to King David, “Saul made plans against us. He tried to destroy all our people living in the land of Israel. 6Give us seven of Saul’s sons. Saul was the Lord’s chosen king. So we will hang his sons in front of the Lord on Mount Gibeah of Saul.” King David said, “Fine, I will give them to you.” 7But the king protected Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth. Jonathan was Saul’s son, but David had made a promise in the Lord’s name to Jonathan.* So the king did not let them hurt Mephibosheth. 8David gave them Armoni and Mephibosheth.* These were the sons of Saul and his wife Rizpah. Saul also had a daughter named Merab. She was married to a man named Adriel son of Barzillai from Meholah. So David took the five sons of Merab and Adriel. 9David gave these seven men to the Gibeonites. The Gibeonites brought them to Mount Gibeah and hanged them in front of the Lord. Those seven men died together. They were put to death during the first days of harvest. This was {in the spring} at the beginning of the barley harvest.

David and Rizpah

10Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took the cloth of sadness and put it on the rock.* That cloth stayed on the rock from the time the harvest began until the rains came. Rizpah watched the bodies day and night. She did not let the wild birds get the bodies during the day. And she did not let the wild animals get them at night. 11People told David what Saul’s woman servant* Rizpah was doing. 12Then David took the bones of Saul and Jonathan from the men of Jabesh Gilead. (The men of Jabesh Gilead got these bones after Saul and Jonathan were killed at Gilboa. The Philistines had hanged the bodies of Saul and Jonathan on a wall in Beth Shan.* But the men of Beth Shan went there and stole the bodies out of that public area.) 13David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from Jabesh Gilead. They also got the bodies of the seven men who were hanged. 14They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the area of Benjamin. They buried them in one of the tunnels in the grave of Saul’s father Kish. God listened to the prayers of the people in that land because they did everything the king commanded.

War with the Philistines

15The Philistines started another war with Israel. David and his men went out to fight the Philistines. But David became very tired and weak. 16Ishbi Benob was one of the giants.* Ishbi Benob’s spear weighed about 7 1/2 pounds.* Ishbi Benob had a new sword. He tried to kill David. 17But Abishai son of Zeruiah killed the Philistine and saved David’s life. Then David’s men made a special promise to David. They said to him, “You can’t go out with us to battle any more. If you do, Israel might lose its greatest leader.” 18Later, there was another war with the Philistines at Gob. Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, another one of the giants.* 19Later, there was another war at Gob against the Philistines. Elhanan the son of Jaare Oregim from Bethlehem killed {Lahmi, the brother of} Goliath from Gath.* His spear was as big as a post.* 20There was another war at Gath. There was a very large man. This man had six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot. He had 24 fingers and toes in all. This man was also one of the giants.* 21This man challenged Israel and made fun of them. But Jonathan killed this man. (This was Jonathan, the son of David’s brother Shimei.) 22All four of these men were giants* from Gath. They were killed by David and his men.

family of murderers Literally, “house of blood.” The Israelites … Gibeonites This happened in Joshua’s time when the Gibeonites tricked the Israelites. See Josh. 9:3–15. David had made … to Jonathan David and Jonathan promised each other that they would not harm each other’s families. Read 1 Sam. 20:12–23,42. Mephibosheth This is another man named Mephibosheth, not Jonathan’s son. rock This might be the Big Rock at Gibeon (2 Sam. 20:8), the rock that the bodies were lying on, or a rock that marked the place where her sons were buried. woman servant Or, “concubine,” a slave woman who was like a wife to a man. Beth Shan Or, “Beth Shean.” one of the giants Or, “a son of Rapha (Rephaim).” 7 1/2 pounds Literally, “300 shekels of bronze.” Lahmi … Gath See 1 Chron. 20:5. post Literally, "a weaver's rod," the large beam across a loom.  giants Or, “sons of Rapha (Rephaim).”

David’s Song of Praise to the Lord

22 * David sang this song at the time the Lord saved him from Saul and all his other enemies. 2The Lord is my Rock,* my Fortress,* my Place of Safety. 3He is my God, the Rock I run to for protection. God is my shield. His power saves me.* The Lord is my hiding place, my place of safety, high in the hills. He saves me from the cruel enemy. 4They made fun of me. But I called to the Lord for help, and I was saved from my enemies! 5{My enemies were trying to kill me!} Waves of death were crashing around me. I was caught in a flood carrying me to that place of death.* 6Ropes of the grave were all around me. Traps of death lay before me. 7Trapped, I called to the Lord for help. Yes, I called to my God. God was in his temple. He heard my voice. He heard my cry for help. 8Then the earth shook. It trembled. The foundations of heaven shook. Why? Because the Lord was angry! 9Smoke came from God’s nose. Burning flames came from his mouth, Burning sparks flew from him. 10The Lord tore open the sky and came down! He stood on a thick, dark cloud! 11He was flying, riding on the flying Cherub angels, riding on the wind. 12The Lord wrapped the dark clouds around him like a tent. He gathered the water into the thick thunder clouds. 13Sparks like burning coal {flew} from the bright light around him! 14The Lord thundered from the sky! God Most High let his voice be heard. 15The Lord shot his arrows* and scattered the enemy. The Lord sent out lightning, and the people scattered in confusion. 16Lord, you spoke strongly, a powerful wind blew from your mouth* {and the water was pushed back}. We could see the bottom of the sea. We could see the earth’s foundations. 17{The Lord helped me like that too!} The Lord reached down from above. The Lord grabbed me and pulled me out of the deep water (trouble). 18My enemies were stronger than me. Those people hated me. My enemies were too strong for me, so God saved me. 19I was in trouble and my enemies attacked me. But the Lord was there to support me! 20The Lord loves me, so he rescued me. He took me to a safe place. 21The Lord will give me my reward Because I did what is right, I did nothing wrong, so he will do good things for me. 22Why? Because I obeyed the Lord! I did not sin against my God. 23I always remember the Lord’s decisions. I obey his laws! 24I keep myself pure and innocent before him. 25So the Lord will give me my reward! Why? Because I did what is right! The way he sees it, I did nothing wrong, so he will do good things for me. 26If a person really loves you, then you show your true love to him. If a person is true to you, then you will be true to him. 27Lord, you are good and pure to people who are good and pure. But, you can outsmart the smartest, sneakiest crook. 28Lord, you help humble people. But you bring shame to proud people. 29Lord, you are my lamp. The Lord lights up the darkness around me! 30With your help, Lord, I can run with the soldiers. With God’s help, I can climb over enemy walls. 31God’s power is complete.* The Lord’s word has been tested. He protects people who trust him. 32There is no God except the Lord. There is no Rock* except our God. 33God is my strong fort. He helps pure people live right.* 34God helps me run fast like a deer! He keeps me steady in high places. 35God trains me for war, so my arms can shoot a powerful bow.* 36God, you protected me and helped me win. You helped me defeat my enemy. 37Make my legs and ankles strong so I can walk fast without stumbling. 38I want to chase my enemies, until I destroy them! I won’t come back until they are destroyed! 39I destroyed my enemies. I defeated them! They won’t get up again. Yes, my enemies fell under my feet. 40God, you made me strong in battle. You made my enemies fall before me. 41You gave me a chance at my enemy’s neck, and I cut my opponent down! 42My enemies looked for help, but there was no one to save them. They even looked to the Lord, but he did not answer them. 43I beat my enemies into pieces. They were like dust on the ground. I crushed my enemies. I walked on them like mud in the streets. 44You saved me from the people who fought against me. You kept me as ruler of those nations. People I didn’t know now serve me! 45People from other lands obey me! When they hear my command, they quickly obey me. Those foreigners are afraid of me! 46Those foreigners wilt with fear. They come out of their hiding places shaking with fear. 47The Lord is alive. I praise my Rock!* God is great! He is the Rock who saves me. 48He is the God who punished my enemies for me. He put people under my rule. 49God, you saved me from my enemies! You helped me defeat the people who stood against me. You save me from cruel men! 50Lord, that is why I praise you to the nations. This is why I sing songs about your name. 51The Lord helps his king win many battles! The Lord shows his true love for his chosen king. He will be loyal to David and to his descendants forever!

Chapter 22 This song is also found in Ps. 18. Rock A name for God. It shows he is like a fortress or a strong place of safety. Fortress A building or city with tall, strong walls for protection. His power saves me Literally, “He is the horn of my salvation.” place of death Or, “the place of no return, the grave.” arrows That is, “lightning.” mouth Or, “nostrils.” God’s power … complete Or, “God’s way is perfect.” Rock A name for God. It shows he is like a fortress or a strong place of safety. live right Literally, “walk in his ways.” shoot a powerful bow Or “string a bronze bow.” Evidently this is a bow made of wood, sinew, horn and possibly bronze.

Other Versions